HOT SPRINGS, AR - "For the better part of the 20th century, bathhouse row was known, understandably, for its bath houses. But now, thanks to the National Park Service, it’s a seedling for small businesses.
Tuesday, the Spa City was home to a small gathering to kickoff what the National Park Service hopes is a big step up for bathhouse row - reopening the Superior and Hale bathhouses.
Rose Cranson and her husband plan to turn the Superior into a microbrewery and distillery. Thermal water from the hot springs will be the key ingredient.
The original front desk is preserved and will be turned into a bar.
"My proposal will allow me to create probably 10 to 12 good jobs here in downtown Hot Springs and continue bringing tourists and locals downtown," Cranson says. "It's good for the economy."
The park service also said "yes" to Deleen Davidson. She heads up The Muses, a non-profit organization that plans to turn a large part of the Hale bathhouse space into a performing arts theater.
And the lobby is already open, serving coffee and lunch.
"Arts programming and arts organizations in historically restored buildings, they are critical to attract visitors, to attracting investors, to giving people who live here something special," Davidson says.
And the work isn't done for the National Park Service. There is still one more bathhouse, the Maurice, that does not have a tenant. They hope in the next year, the National Park Service will be able to find one.